•A scheduled commercial offtake programme targeting at least 15,000 livestock mostly cattle in areas hard hit by the drought in the same month failed to take off.
•At least 25,000 pastoralist households had been targeted for the National Livestock Insurance project in December.
Livestock farmers in Lamu have incurred losses following a failed destocking programme that led to the loss of livestock from drought last year.
The planned Sh30 million slaughter-to-destock programme in Lamu targeting over 10,000 livestock starting September last year did not happen.
The exercise was to be undertaken by the National Drought Management Authority, Lamu office to avert further livestock deaths.
Consequently, over 6,000 livestock mostly cattle, have since died in various parts of Lamu.
Farmers do not have any fall-back plan to enable them recover from the losses.
A scheduled commercial offtake programme targeting at least 15,000 livestock, mostly cattle in areas hard hit by the drought in the same month, failed to take off.
At least 25,000 pastoralist households had been targeted for the National Livestock Insurance project in December.
The most affected areas are Koreni, Mkunumbi, Bar’goni, Pangani, Lumshi, Kitumbini, Nagelle, Chalaluma, Moa, Dide Waride, and Witu in Lamu West.
Such programmes are meant to reduce pressure on pasture lands and water sources and reduce the number of livestock perishing due to drought in all the affected regions.
The affected pastoralists accused the government and NDMA of not being straightforward in their communication on the programmes.
“We lost close to 7,000 livestock and that’s too much without any plan of replenishing. We waited but they failed us and now we have nowhere to start from,” Mohamed Abdulla of Nagelle said.
The farmers have appealed for feeds, drugs, veterinary services and any other measures to cushion them from further losses.
The growing invasion of the Lamu grazing corridors by herders from the neighbouring counties of Tana River and Garissa has further depleted the scarce pasturelands and water points depended upon by livestock.
Lamu NDMA coordinator Mohamed Dahir blamed the situation on relevant ministries who he said had not approved the implementation of the destocking programmes.
Dahir said this time, the funds had been channelled to the Ministry of Livestock and not the NDMA.
“We did our job by making the recommendations based on what we saw on the ground but the money didn’t come to us and so we couldn’t help offtake the programme,” he said.
Edited by Kiilu Damaris